Last night, Dana White’s Contender Series returns for a second season. The first season, which took place last summer, was a blockbuster hit for the UFC as the fights were really good and a number of fighters on the show eventually graduated to the UFC. It should be much of the same this time around as there are a number of prospects to keep your eye out for this season.
Here are some of the fighters to watch on season two of Dana White’s Contender Series. I chose one fighter from each card to keep your eye on. The cards take place every Tuesday from June 12 until July 31 this summer, except for the week of July 3.
Week 1 (June 12): Alonzo Menifield
Light heavyweight prospect Alonzo Menifield (6-0) is definitely the guy to keep your eye on in Week 1. Just 30, Menifield has won all six of his pro fights by finish since debuting in 2015. He has experience fighting in Bellator, RFA, LFA and even on the first season of Contender Series. With an impressive win over Dashawn Boatwright, there’s no question he will get signed to the UFC.
Editor’s note: Menifield won his fight in just 8 seconds and was quickly signed by the UFC.
Week 2 (June 19): Jordan Wright
Middleweight prospect Jordan Wright (9-0) stands out because of his hilarious nickname “The Beverly Hills Ninja” but he’s backed that up so far by finishing all nine of his pro MMA fights. Wright just picked up a win in LFA and that caught the eyes of the UFC matchmakers, who will likely give the winner of Wright vs. Anthony Hernandez a UFC deal.
Week 3 (June 26): Antonina Shevchenko
The sister of UFC women’s flyweigh contender Valentina Shevchenko, Antonina Shevhenko (3-0) would be a super intriguing addition to 125lbs in the Octagon. A decorated muay Thai kickboxer, Shevchenko has won all three of her MMA fights and with her experience in combat sports could potentially be a star. She takes on Silvana Gomez Juarez on Week 3 of the Contender Series.
Week 4 (July 10): Rafael Fiziev
Lightwight prospect Fiziev (5-0) should be someone to watch out for on Week 4. The native of Kyrgzstan has finished all five of his pro fights since debuting in 2015, including two-straight knockout wins in ROAD FC in his last two fights. He takes on fellow undefeated prospect Joey Gomez on Week 4 and the winner of this bout will likely get a contract from the UFC.
Week 5 (July 17): Austin Vandeford
The boyfriend of UFC women’s strawweight Paige VanZant, Austin Vanderford (4-0) is a really good welterweight prospect as he’s won all four of his pro MMA fights including a win over Ben Fodor. In his Contender Series debut Vanderford takes on Angelo Trevino and a win might be enough for Dana White to give him a UFC contract, especially if PVZ has a say in the matter.
Week 6 (July 24): Jim Crute
Another light heavyweight prospect to keep your eye out on is Jim Crute (7-0) who has won all seven of his pro MMA fights in his native Australia. He is only 22 and has the potential to make a difference in the UFC light heayweight division if he keeps improving. For his debut on the Contender Series, he takes on Chris Birchler.
Week 7 (July 31): Juan Adams
Heavyweight prospect Juan Adams (3-0) has won all three of his pro MMA fights since making his debut in 2017. He’s a huge heavyweight and with a nickname like “The Kraken” he’s someone that draws your interest immediately. He takes on Shawn Teed on the Contender Series and with a big knockout win the UFC would be foolish not to sign him.